A champagne welcome was awaiting a former Skegness Grammar School student skippering the GREAT Britain team in the Round the World Clipper Race when they arrived at the finish of the first leg in third place.
Andy Burns, 31, and his crew arrived at Punta Del Este in Uruguay at 4.22am this morning - watched live on Facebook by family and friends.
Sanya Serenity Coast were first to arrive yesterday afternoon, with PSP Logistics just two hours ahead of GREAT Britain. Nine more clippers are yet to finish.
The Clipper Race is one of the biggest challenges of the natural world and an endurance test like no other.
With no previous sailing experience necessary, it’s a record breaking 40,000 nautical mile race around the world on a 70-foot ocean racing yacht.
Among the crew of doctors, engineers, business advisors and retired people testing their limits is former Olympic skier Graham Bell.
Andy, who is playing the Joker to maximise his points in the race, has been entertaining the teams’s followers with his daily blogs, which he has admitted have sometimes been as late as his Skegness Grammar School assignments.
On the final day of sailing there was praise for Andy from crew members.
Edmund Aldworth said: “On the boat it’s been a combination of mostly highs and occasional lows, disasters and triumphs, with tears of sadness and laughter too and I’d like to extend my thanks to all the crew who’ve made the lows bearable and the highs memorable with my sincere apologies to any of those I’ve upset along the way when I’ve become irritable.
“I’d like to offer my personal thanks to Andy, our Skipper, who listens, teaches, manages and encourages us all to better our sailing knowledge. His understanding and support when I totally shredded his beloved Code 2 kite was comforting.
“He knew just how bad I felt.
“He’s assured and professional in every respect, a credit to the Clipper Race and a truly worthy Skipper for the GREAT Britain team and brand.”
Among the messages of congratulations on the Facebook Clipper Race: Live feed was one from his mum, Kate Waite. This morning she said: “I’ve been awake most of the night. We are all so proud of Andy and the crew.”
Follow the team on the Round the World Clipper Race website